New online daters have shared that they are concerned about accepting a date with someone and as soon as they meet him, they know he is not a match. If the plan is for dinner, dancing, lunch or hiking, they know the are in for hours of making polite conversation with someone they know is not their type.
The solution: Start with coffee.
If you have not met this person, no matter how charming and fun he sounds on the phone or in emails, start with coffee. If you meet and hit it off, coffee can easily extend to lunch or dinner. I’ve had 5-hour dates that started with coffee and went into lunch or dinner.
Coffee is a minimal time investment: 30 minutes to an hour. You can be polite to nearly anyone for 30 minutes, can’t you? Even if you meet and know there is no attraction, fight the urge to exit after 5 or 10 minutes. Unless he is totally offensive, stick it out for 30 minutes. You may make a new pal, or have a gal pal who he might be good for.
I’ve dissuaded guys who wanted to start with dinner and dancing. I’ve learned from experience. I now say “Let’s start with coffee and see if we hit if off and want to spend more time together. Then our second date can be that nice dinner that you’re suggesting.” They understand and agree.
If you want to meet after work, a drink would seem logical. However, it is a tad awkward as it gets toward dinner time to decline an offer of dinner if he thinks it is going well. But if you want to bail, don’t do dinner. Extricate yourself as gracefully as possible: “I’m sorry, I must be going.” “I have a big day tomorrow, so want to get ready for it tonight.”
This is why coffee is the perfect solution. For some reason it is less of a problem to leave when your coffee cup is drained. So don’t set up yourself to suffer — agree to start with coffee.
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